Walk Gracefully

Opportunities Today : October 2006 Issue

Walk Gracefully


An ungainly gait can spoil an otherwise gorgeous girl's impact… so if you waddle, weave, shuffle, mince, march, bob,or strut, learn to glide with queenly grace! Here's how.



A graceful walk is actually good-posture-in-motion; the traditional training method is to practise with a book on your head. Now, balancing a book (or anything else) on top of your head forces your body into proper alignment - and that is the foundation of both good posture and an attractive walk! Here's how your body should shape up when alignment is correct: Rib cage vertical, not tilted forward or backward …pelvis straight….knees and feet pointing straight ahead. A plumb line would fall just in front of anklebone, just behind the kneecap, through the centre of the hip joint and middle of the waist, shoulder and ear lobe.

When you walk, your footprints should look like this : Feet are turned out just the tiniest bit and placed in almost a straight line - only an inch or two apart. The length of your stride is determined by how tall you are and how long your legs are. (Average stride is about one foot for women.) Try walking barefoot in wet sand.

How your body's weight is distributed when you stand or walk is vital. Weight is not on your heels, but on the “inner margin ball” of your foot, just behind your big toe. Place your feet in a parallel position, tighten the buttocks and inner thigh muscles, lower the shoulder blades and stretch the spine, pulling your head back and up. That's the balanced standing position, and, once in it, your figure will look its very best! Now, relax a bit (but keep your weight on the inner margin ball of your feet), and start walking slowly. Swing legs from the hip socket (without twitching your derrière at every step!) and keep your body aligned : Shoulders level, head up and back, shoulder blades lowered, rib cage vertical. With each step, your heel hits the ground first … then weight instantly rolls forward along the outside edge of the foot onto the big toe - with which you push off for the next step. This shift of weight is done smoothly, with a continuous, fluid motion.

Now that you know what to do, here are some Dont's :

• Don't toe in or toe out
• Don't shift your hips from side to side
• Don't take giant strides or tiny steps
• Don't lead with your head
• Don't swing your shoulders

That's all there is to it! Happy walking!